Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Yesterday Wishcake tweeted that she had signed up for NaNoWriMo. Having no idea what it was, a few tweets and a google search later I found myself drawn to the insane idea that someone could write a novel in a month. According to their website NaNoWriMo:

"is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down."

I admit, writing is something that because of this blog, I enjoy again so much. Its an outlet--a big jumble of some of the most random, intimate, crazy, down right absurd thoughts that roll through my head on an almost daily basis. Blogging is one thing. Fifty thousand words is another. Thats a lot of words--one thousand six hundred sixty six point six words per day if you really wanted to know.

Getting something published is something I've always wanted to do, but I have no idea how to go about doing that and for a long time never thought anything I wrote was ever good enough. Sure my mom and friends, tell me my writing is great but they have to say stuff like that, right? They're my friends and my mom. The truth is, maybe I've just never had the guts to put myself out there in that way. Maybe my fear of rejection is holding me back, the fear of someone telling me that what I write isn't good enough. I've said it before and I will say it again, I am envious of so many of you other bloggers out there who say things so much more eloquently than I do.

I completely understand that I am not going to be writing the great American novel in a month nor do I even think that someone will read what I've written. The truth is though, that I never thought anyone would read this blog either. Its going to be messy and chaotic. There will be times I want to cry, bang my head against the computer keyboard, and curse the very idea. There will be days I sit staring at a blank word document waiting for words to just magically appear. There will be times, probably many, that I want to just throw in the towel and quit. The idea though is to just do it. To sit down, commit to getting words on paper or on the screen, and just writing without worrying about grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Just getting everything out there. Just seeing if I can actually do it -- raw, inexperienced, unpolished writing. Its just so crazy, that I might actually be able to pull it off. Yes, its incredibly daunting, especially for a procrastinator like myself and the very idea scares the hell out of me. But, I think I want to give it a shot.


Nikki said...

That is really cool! And you definitely are a great writer! I love writing... I always start stories but never finish. Hmm... maybe I should look into this too!

Stacy said...

Break a nail! (Is that the appropriate thing to say..I'm just gonna go with it) :)

Lauren Elizabeth said...

I think that's a great idea. Especially the fact that it is about quantity, not quality. It gets the blal rolling without wondering if it is actually any good.

Also, I really enjoy your writing.

Jill said...

You HAVE to do it... I would read anything that you write... they say write about what you know... so get to it, girly!

Andy said...


Kerri W. said...

Yaaaay! I'm excited that someone else I "know" is going to embark on this crazy mess of an idea! Heehee. I love a good, personal challenge, though - and it sounds like you do, too. I'm sure you will do just great!

I love the encouragement they give you on the website, too. I love that there's no pressure for greatness. :)

Best of luck, my dear!

Jenny and Matt said...

Good for you, mandy! Go for it!!

Auburn Kat said...

Too bad there is no way I'll have time to do that with my current work load =(

jamie said...

You have nothing to lose. Go, girl! Write it all, take the world by storm! I think your blog is great. I think you should try this.

My greatest fear in life is regretting the things I should have done...what's yours? :)

michellewoo said...

In writing, there's really no "best time" to start. It's a journey. Congrats on taking that first step.

jefalk84 said...

Brave is a word I would never use to describe myself. Thank you.


Cameo said...

I LOVE this idea! I just might have to try it myself. I used to FRAME my rejection letters. Yeah, until about the 5th one and then they started going in the trash. Then again, I framed my Harvard application letter too. Thanks for putting up the link!

Frank said...

Uhh...I'm on page 11...and I started in the middle of September...

Looks like I'd better start skipping work and classes to get the novel done!

Mandy said...

Nikki -- Thank you and yes, you should definitely consider it!

Stacy -- I think thats appropriate. LOL.

Cocount -- thank you and I like that fact as well.

Jill-- Thanks! The older I get the less I know...lol.

Andy -- LOL, you should do it too!

Wishcake -- Thanks for bringing it to my attention! I am glad to have someone else I "know" as well along the ride.

Jenny and Matt -- I'm going to give it a go...

Jamie -- Great advice, thank you!

MichelleWoo--the first step is usually the hardest.

Jefalk84 -- Never underestimante yourself.

Cameo--I think you should try it too!

Frank-- I thought of you when I first read about this...game on?

jefalk84 said...

I'm getting better.

If you met the me from about 3 years ago, you wouldn't even recognize me!

Thanks again.